Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki will be looking to build on the team’s showing at Afcon 2019 as qualification for the 2021 edition kicks off on Thursday. With Molefi still settling in, a fast start to their qualification campaign will be vital, writes DEAN WORKMAN.
The South African national team was drawn in group C for the qualification campaign alongside Sao Tome e Principe, Ghana and Sudan as they look to qualify for their second successive Afcon tournament after missing out on the 2017 edition.
Ntseki’s appointment to step up from his role as assistant coach to replace the departed Stuart Baxter had a lot to do with keeping some continuity within the squad, and the coach has done just that with his squad selections so far.
Cape Coast Stadium, the venue for the upcoming clash between @BafanaBafana and hosts Ghana in the #2021AFCONq on Thursday at 7pm local time (9pm SA time)@BafanaBafana @Banyana_Banyana @COSAFAMEDIA #2021AFCONq pic.twitter.com/ds39i5kRXQ
— Bafana Bafana (@BafanaBafana) November 12, 2019
Bafana sent shock waves through the footballing world as they overcame hosts Egypt in the last 16 of the continental showpiece in the north African country in July, before going on to lose against rivals Nigeria in the quarter-finals.
Ntseki now needs to build on that experience with the same group of young players as they look to continue to climb the African football ladder.
The coach may have come through the ranks within the Safa structures, but he won’t be immune to pressure should results not go his way.
— Bafana Bafana (@BafanaBafana) November 13, 2019
This means that the former assistant will be aiming for a fast start to their qualifying campaign by picking up six points in their clashes with Ghana and Sudan. Victories in those games will help reinforce and reaffirm the growth and belief – not only within the squad but from Ntseki as well.
However, should things not go according to plan it will not be long before there will be question marks around the technical team in place.
If Bafana are going to continue to show the improvements over the last 18 months, continuity is key. But, in order to have the time to show that growth, Ntseki will need to pick up the results or we may just face another complete shake-up of the national team set-up.
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